ST. LOUIS – “What’s the deal with pickleball?,” FOX 2 Sports Director Martin Kilcoyne, in a Seinfeld voice, recently asked about its buzz in St. Louis.

Pickleball, a paddle sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong, has gained popularity in recent years with players of all ages and abilities hitting the courts. And now, new research touts St. Louis among the best U.S. cities for pickleball enthusiasts. recently released its 2023 “Best Cities for Pickleball” list, which ranked St. Louis as the sixth-best city in the nation and best in Missouri to enjoy the paddle sport.

Factors considered in the rankings included access to pickleball courts and tournaments, the size of the pickleball community, and local interest in the sport. Lawn Love then assigned a “weight” for subcategories within that criteria, which helped in finalizing each city’s score and overall rank. The research team did this for nearly 200 U.S. cities.

St. Louis finished sixth overall in the rankings with a score of 40.28. The Gateway City finished fourth for its access and 14th for its community rank.

According to Lawn Love, St. Louis sets the tone for pickleball’s craze in the Midwest and “boasts the 2nd-highest number of pickleball facilities (52) and 3rd-highest number of courts (216),” among cities measured. New York City finished as the top city in Lawn Love’s rankings, ranked best in access, community and popularity.

The new research comes with National Pickleball Day set for Tuesday, Aug. 8. Fittingly, Forest Park in St. Louis is also set to host hundreds of pickleball players for the Association of Pickleball Players’ Sunmed St. Louis Open from Aug. 9-13.

Chesterfield Mall has also redeveloped some open space in recent years to create indoor pickleball courts, giving players an option to compete all year long.

If you’re looking to grab a paddle and find a court near you, check out for everything you need to know.